GUSD, Teachers in Accord on Virus Precautions

First published in the Sept. 25 print issue of the Glendale News Press.

The Glendale Unified School District and the union representing its teachers agreed this week to a series of policies and protocols codifying COVID-19-related safety measures that will last for the remainder of the school year.
Meanwhile, the district and the Glendale Teachers Association continued to discuss what is expected to be an agreement addressing the effects that quarantining has on classroom instruction.
The understanding reached this week, in short, has the district aligning with applicable guidelines from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. It does not address other related issues, such as instructional policy in the event of student quarantines, nor does it impose any new vaccination mandates. Continue reading “GUSD, Teachers in Accord on Virus Precautions”

GUSD Discloses 43 COVID Cases Since Start of School

The Glendale Unified School District has identified nearly four dozen cases of COVID-19 among students and employees in its first eight days of school, according to a dashboard it uses to monitor the disease on its campuses.
The cases have resulted in more than 3,300 identified exposures, as determined by contact tracing, although it was unclear how many of them were required to quarantine. Presently, the dashboard does not differentiate exposure by vaccination status, which affects whether the exposed subjects need to isolate themselves.
In the meantime, the district and the Glendale Teachers Association continue to hammer out a deal on how students are to continue their education when quarantining. GUSD is currently proposing that students in quarantine — which is likely to include entire classes — temporarily transition to a remote, online class model similar to how schools operated the previous school year. Continue reading “GUSD Discloses 43 COVID Cases Since Start of School”

Teachers Union, School District Sign Tentative Agreement

By Zane Hill and Christian Leonard
Glendale News-Press

Following months of negotiations, the Glendale Unified School District and the teachers union have signed a tentative contract regarding instruction and safety protocols for the remainder of the academic year.
The tentative agreement, which must be ratified by the GUSD Board of Education and members of the Glendale Teachers Association before going into effect, would offer childcare for school-aged children of union members and provide Chromebooks and headsets for in-person students. Students and staff members would also be asked to opt in or out of a COVID-19 testing program; currently, coronavirus testing is voluntary.
Superintendent Vivian Ekchian said in an interview Thursday she was “incredibly excited” to have reached the agreement, which was struck Wednesday.

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Schools’ Reopening Details Still Being Addressed

The Glendale Unified School District this week proposed beginning in-person instruction across its elementary schools starting with TK-2nd-grade students on Monday, March 29, and bringing 3rd-6th graders back the following week.
This proposal was part of a response to the Glendale Teachers Association made this week after the union made its counter-proposal to the district during negotiations. The district also asked for preschool and elementary teachers, Child Development and Child Care teachers and elementary specialists, nurses and counselors to report to their sites on Tuesday, March 23, and have five paid instructional work days to prepare their classrooms and engage in professional development.

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GUSD Stays Course on Distance Learning

The Glendale Unified School District has committed to continuing distance teaching through at least March 12, with the current surge in coronavirus cases essentially pulling the plug on any potential plans to add more in-person programming at the start of 2021.
Superintendent Vivian Ekchian and the district’s board of education emphatically made that pledge at last week’s meeting, the last of 2020. As for wider in-person instruction, officials also acknowledged the very real possibility that they could move the goalposts further away as they approach March, depending on how Los Angeles County fares through the pandemic.
“We will continue to engage in distance learning,” Ekchian said. “We are not interested in bringing more personnel back to our campuses — teachers, counselors, nurses, itinerant personnel, teacher specialists — during a surge. We will have to hope for the best. March 12 is the end of the third quarter; it seems to be the best next step in terms of our making safe decisions for all employees, students and the community. We are not making decisions beyond that, because much can change between now and then.”

Continue reading “GUSD Stays Course on Distance Learning”